Babbage: The Metaverse is coming
28 min

We explore computer-generated virtual worlds and their use in everything from film-making to architecture. What will it take to build a real Metaverse, a persistent virtual world that anyone can plug into? This vision, though born in the minds of science fiction writers, is shaping the real-world ambitions of much of the tech world. Host Alok Jha talks to author Neal Stephenson, VR pioneer Jaron Lanier and the VFX team behind The Mandalorian. 


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The Interchange
The Interchange
Greentech Media
Decoding the New Energy Customer
This week, Shayle Kann talks with Kiran Bhatraju, the CEO of Arcadia, about who's buying clean energy. Every pathway toward economy-wide decarbonization drives straight through a dramatic transformation in the electricity sector. But so much of the discussion in that sector focuses on the supply side: how fast will wind and solar displace fossil fuels? what will happen with natural gas? But there's another important player in this game: the energy consumer.  Consumers tend to be confusing when it comes to energy. It's hard to discern how much we actually care about it in the first place, what our preferences are, what decisions we'll make, what we'll pay for.  Most sectors that have undergone dramatic transformation have been driven by changing customer behavior, and energy may be no different. So we need to understand the consumer, and to find ways to deliver them products and services that will accelerate the energy transition. Shayle and Kiran discuss the different groups of clean-energy customers, how they respond to options, and how a changing regulatory landscape could influence behavior. Support for The Interchange comes from Trina Solar, a global leader in PV modules and smart energy solutions. With decades of industry recognition and awards, Trina Solar is committed to delivering reliable and fully bankable solar technology to the world. Download the free TrinaPro Solution Guide Book on how to optimize utility-scale solar projects. The Interchange is brought to you by S&C Electric Company. Today, non-wires alternatives such as microgrids can provide more sustainable, resilient and economical ways to deliver reliable power. S&C helps utilities and commercial customers find the best solutions to meet their energy needs. Learn more.
41 min
The Energy Gang
The Energy Gang
Greentech Media
Automakers Knew About Climate Change 50 Years Ago
In the 1960s, scientists who worked for General Motors and Ford discovered that the exhaust from their cars was very likely changing the climate. They made presentations at conferences. They briefed senior executives. And then, they were publicly contradicted and their work was suppressed.  We’ll talk to Maxine Joselow, the journalist who reported the story for E&E News over many months. She talked with more than two dozen former GM and Ford employees, retired auto industry executives, academics, and environmentalists about what the companies knew about climate change five decades ago. It leaves the reader wondering: what if automakers had taken the problem more seriously a half-century ago? Then, plenty of conservative states are embracing renewables. But now 100% clean energy mandates are spreading to redder states. The latest is Arizona: a place where elected officials and a giant utility previously worked to stop the march of clean energy. We’ll look at the shift.  And last: can a Marshall Plan for fading coal communities rebuild America’s former industrial regions? * E&E News: GM, Ford Knew About Climate Change 50 Years Ago * Scientific American: A Woman Warned GM about Warming, But Men Didn’t Listen * Greentech Media: Arizona Regulators Pass Rule for 100% Clean Energy by 2050 * Smart Cities Dive: Mayors Unveil $60B Plan to Support Midwest Energy Transition * University of Pittsburgh: Marshall Plan for Middle America Roadmap The Energy Gang is brought to you by Wärtsilä Energy, leading the transition toward a 100% renewable energy future. Wärtsilä launched “The Path to 100%” to accelerate the transition to renewables. Become part of the discussion. The Energy Gang is brought to you by Honeywell, a leading supplier of IoT solutions to mission-critical industries around the world. Honeywell Smart Energy helps utilities transform their grid operations through advanced solutions and targeted services from edge to cloud. Learn more.
1 hr 6 min
Business Lab
Business Lab
MIT Technology Review Insights
Leveraging collective intelligence and AI to benefit society
A solar-powered autonomous drone scans for forest fires. A surgeon first operates on a digital heart before she picks up a scalpel. A global community bands together to print personal protection equipment to fight a pandemic. “The future is now,” says Frederic Vacher, head of innovation at Dassault Systèmes. And all of this is possible with cloud computing, artificial intelligence (AI), and a virtual 3D design shop, or as Dassault calls it, the 3DEXPERIENCE innovation lab. This open innovation laboratory embraces the concept of the social enterprise and merges collective intelligence with a cross-collaborative approach by building what Vacher calls “communities of people—passionate and willing to work together to accomplish a common objective.” This podcast episode was produced by Insights, the custom content arm of MIT Technology Review. It was not produced by MIT Technology Review’s editorial staff.  “It’s not only software, it's not only cloud, but it’s also a community of people’s skills and services available for the marketplace,” Vacher says. “Now, because technologies are more accessible, newcomers can also disrupt, and this is where we want to focus with the lab.”   And for Dassault Systèmes, there’s unlimited real-world opportunities with the power of collective intelligence, especially when you are bringing together industry experts, health-care professionals, makers, and scientists to tackle covid-19. Vacher explains, “We created an open community, ‘Open Covid-19,’ to welcome any volunteer makers, engineers, and designers to help, because we saw at that time that many people were trying to do things but on their own, in their lab, in their country.” This wasted time and resources during a global crisis. And, Vacher continues, the urgency of working together to share information became obvious, “They were all facing the same issues, and by working together, we thought it could be an interesting way to accelerate, to transfer the know-how, and to avoid any mistakes.”  Business Lab is hosted by Laurel Ruma, director of Insights, the custom publishing division of MIT Technology Review. The show is a production of MIT Technology Review, with production help from Collective Next.  This episode of Business Lab is produced in association with Dassault Systèmes.  Show notes and links  How Effective is a Facemask? Here’s a Simulation of Your Unfettered Sneeze, by Josh Mings, SolidSmack, April 2, 2020  Open Covid-19 Community Lets Makers Contribute to Pandemic Relief, by Clare Scott, Dassault, The SIMULIA Blog, July 15, 2020 Dassault 3DEXPERIENCE platform Collective intelligence and collaboration around 3D printing: rising to the challenge of Covid-19, by Frederic Vacher, STAT, August 10, 2020
35 min
Columbia Energy Exchange
Columbia Energy Exchange
ColumbiaUEnergy
“Future of Coal in India"
With a population of 1.4 billion people and one of the fastest growing economies in the world, India is crucial to the future of global energy markets and climate change - and coal is fueling much of that economic growth in India. Coal is the most carbon-intensive fossil fuel and is responsible for more than 40 percent of energy-related global carbon emissions. Over the next five years, India’s coal demand is expected to grow more than that of any other country in the world. In short, there’s no pathway to global decarbonization that does not include meaningfully changing the trajectory of India’s current and projected coal use. In this edition of Columbia Energy Exchange, host Jason Bordoff is joined by Dr. Rahul Tongia, author of the new book “Future of Coal in India: Smooth Transition or Bumpy Road Ahead?” to help shed light on that very subject. Dr. Rahul Tongia is a Senior Fellow with the Centre for Social and Economic Progress in New Delhi, where he leads its Energy, Natural Resources, and Sustainability group. He is also a non-resident Senior Fellow at the Brookings Institution, and Adjunct Professor at Carnegie Mellon University. He was the founding Technical Advisor for the Government of India’s Smart Grid Task Force. He holds a PhD in Engineering and Public Policy from Carnegie Mellon University and a Bachelor's in Electrical Engineering from Brown University. You can read Dr. Tongia's blog post about his book here.
46 min
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